Biding ‘final goodbyes’ to a loved one is never easy. You might still either be struggling to accept they have left you forever or panicking after accepting the harsh reality. Our loved ones are an integral part of our support system as they constantly provide us with both practical help and emotional backing. Understanding the funeral rituals, you need to follow during the last rites can offer you some relief when your life proceeds in an unplanned manner after losing a family member.
Today more than 31.1 % of the world's population comprises Christians. Within the Christian religion, there are many different sects. These religious groups, however, follow similar funeral rituals which end with the burial of the dead. As per this faith, upon dying, a human enters an afterlife. Accordingly, the dead body is kept in good condition before the burial. Even if cremation occurs, the ashes stored in an urn are buried later in the graveyard or ground. A typical Christian funeral takes an hour or a little less to complete.
Preparing the Body for Funeral
Before the funeral ceremony begins, the body of the dead is thoroughly cleaned. If viewing has to take place, the family might get it embalmed. The dead person is shrouded in graceful clothing with their hands crossed or in a relaxed position before the final rites. A rosary might also be placed in their hand.
Below is a breakdown of the events that take place during a Christian funeral ceremony: -
1. Vigil- Before the dead body is taken to the funeral home or church for viewing, the family members and close relatives gather at the deceased's home. This is the beginning of their final journey. Depending on how the family plans, vigil can either be a 'ceremonious affair' with people remembering the deceased for their remarkable qualities or 'gloomy' as they display sadness for their loss.
2. Entrance - Now, the funeral procession reaches the church where the deceased will be laid in their last resting place. With great reverence and prudence, the pall-bearers carry the coffin box into the church, where holy water is sprinkled over it by a clergyman.
3. Offering Hymns and Prayers - Once the coffin is stationed in its rightful place, the family members sing hymns and prayers for the deceased. The act of praying offers them strength during the mourning period and a sense of relief. It reminds them that the loved one is now in a much better place. These are either chosen by the deceased before death or the bereaved individuals themselves.
4. Recital of Psalms - In the Christian faith, people believe that the dead will enter heaven as Jesus Christ sacrificed himself for all humankind, purifying them of their sins. Psalm 23 is especially read to remind the loved ones that the dead will ascend towards heaven.
5. Mass - It may or may not take place depending on the Christian denomination you follow. The Eucharist and Holy Communion are read by a clergy member, usually a minister or priest, during mass.
6. Rite of Committal - Towards the end, the priest says the final prayers at the graveyard just before the burial. This is known as the rite of committal.
7. Burial - Now that everyone has viewed the deceased, said their last words to him/her and expressed their sadness for his/her going away, the coffin is finally buried. Some mourners might place flowers or belonging to express their affection for the dead. Others will scatter a little mud over the coffin before it vanishes deep in the earth's surface.
8. Reception- After the burial, their loved ones heavy-heartedly return home. They arrange an elaborate meal for the attendees and thank them for attending the ceremony with funeral favours as they part ways. During this period, people pay their condolences and sympathize with the dead's family indulging in long conversations.
It is extremely painful to lose someone who has filled so many years of your life with great happiness and joy. Sadly, you can’t bring a dead loved one back to life. However, by ensuring you host a funeral they would have desired, you truly exercise your power to give a meaningful ending to their life. Therefore, being aware of the various rituals involved in carrying out a funeral is essential for the bereaved.
We hope the above blog helps you. However, in case you feel so bogged down by the loss that you think you are incapable of arranging a proper funeral at the moment, save yourself from the hassle and contact Dead Body Transport Staff. We will take care of all your needs and conduct a funeral that truly goes the way you planned. Let someone else shoulder the responsibility of taking care of your loved one and allow yourself the time to grieve.